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GAO Report on Fatigue in U.S. Military

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What GAO Found

Many service members are not getting the Department of Defense (DOD) recommended 7 or more hours of sleep each day. The department’s overarching fatigue-related guidance emphasizes service members obtain at least 7 hours of sleep for optimal performance and readiness. For over a decade, DOD surveys have found that the majority of service members report sleeping 6 or fewer hours per night. Respondents to GAO’s nongeneralizable survey cited similar issues. For example, many respondents are sleeping too little, and roughly half of respondents have poor sleep quality regardless of quantity. Survey respondents provided examples of how sleep deprivation has affected their work, from nearly colliding with another aircraft to falling asleep on the job.

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